The Q&A Archives: Growing A Sunflower Indoors

Question: I managed to salvage a four foot tall sunflower that was growing on a slope where we dump our grass clippings. I dug it up and put it in a pot just before the first frost here in Kenai, Alaska. I keep the soil moist, and put a grow light on it for a couple of hours each day. However, the leaves are turning yellow and dying continuing up the stock. The head that was on it when I dug it up has since dried and died, but two new ones are opening up. How can I continue to keep my salvaged sunflower alive, inside, in a pot, during the winter?

Answer: First, transplant shock can set a plant back. Also, many sunflowers are annuals. Annuals are plants whose life cycle (vegetative growth, bloom, seed set) is completed in a single growing season. The plant dies at the end of the cycle and a new generation begins with seed germination. If you have an annual sunflower, it may just be coming to the end of its life. If you have a perennial, the biggest problem with growing sunflowers indoors is that they need lots of sun! About 8 -10 hours per day, minimum. They also like moisture, so I'd keep the soil consistently moist, but not wet. I hope this info helps.

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